Mayor’s Faith Lost After Employee Steals Nearly $62,000 From Taxpayers


UPDATED: Tuesday January 22, 2013 6:27 PM

A former financial clerk for the Athens County Village of Trimble stole thousands from taxpayers – leaving the village in a lurch.

Trimble Mayor Doug Davis said that he has lost faith after he discovered the woman who sat at the desk across from him for 12 years was stealing from taxpayers.

“She just really had us all fooled,” Davis said.

According to the mayor, for about three of the 12 years, Debra Berry used her work computer to dummy bank statements and forge his signature on checks.

She stole more than $61,000 from taxpayers, leaving the village with money problems, including issues with IRS late fees.

On Tuesday, a new audit uncovered another $800 missing.

“It just left the village in a really bad situation, moneywise,” Davis said. “Right now, we’re just barely keeping our head above water.”

The mayor said that the village has never been rich and now is about  $100,000 in debt.

Watchdog 10 asked what the woman who ripped off the village had to say for herself.

Berry pleaded guilty to theft and was released from her one-year prison term last year.

“I’m very sorry, but I just don’t have any comment,” Berry told Watchdog 10.

Davis said that Berry is paying $50 a month in restitution – something he worries will outlast the Village of Trimble.

“We don’t have the money,” Davis said.

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